UPDATE: 27th September 2017
Jeff Kaplan has acknowledged the existence of a big which has seen players being unfairly banned from Competitive Play, and a fix is on the way. The following statement was published on the official Overwatch forums late last night:
"We recently identified a bug that, in extremely rare cases, can cause players to lose their skill rating progress and receive a seasonal ban from Competitive Play without any prior penalties for leaving early or being kicked for inactivity. This bug is a high priority for our team, and we’re working on a fix to prevent further instances of it occurring as we speak.
"In the meantime, we’ll be removing the seasonal ban for all players affected by this bug as well as restoring their skill rating. To date, this bug has impacted fewer than 200 accounts, but we’ll continue to monitor for additional occurrences and provide assistance until we can implement a permanent fix. We don’t have an ETA to share right now for when the fix will go live, but we’ll update this thread as soon more information becomes available.
"We sincerely apologize for any inconvenience or frustration this bug has caused and are grateful for your patience and ongoing reports."
ORIGINAL STORY: 26th September 2017
Players are warning of a serious bug in Overwatch that not only reduces your Skill Rating by an unnatural amount, but also instigates a season ban against the account in question.
Once banned, players are no longer able to participate in the game's Competitive Play for the remainder of the season. As seasons are currently pegged at two months, there's the risk of a significant time-out from the meat of the game.
Reports about this bug have been surfacing on the official Overwatch forums for a few weeks now, but a recent Reddit post has highlighted the issue in greater detail.
Popular Overwatch guides on Metabomb:
Put simply, it's believed that the bug occurs when a player chooses to quit a ranked match right as it's loading. This then pushes the remaining players into the “Waiting for Players” screen that normally only appears in Quick Play. As there aren't enough players the match fails to begin, returns everyone to the waiting screen, and then tries again before failing repeatedly.
For the people remaining in the match, the end-result is a loss of Skill Rating in the many hundreds, followed by a ban. This presumably occurs as the system believes the players are deliberately quitting these matches, or are at the very least disconnecting frequently.
Although Blizzard has asked affected players to file bug reports over at the official forums, the community has yet to have the existence of the bug formally recognised. We've asked Blizzard for a comment, and will update this story if we hear anything back from the publisher.
In the meantime, our recommendation is to give Competitive Play a rest until an official announcement is made by the Overwatch team.